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Django primary-replica terminology patch dispute

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In May 2014, a contributor submitted a pull request that removed references to the problematic terms "master" and "slave" from the Django codebase—at first suggesting "leader" and "follower" as replacements, but settling on "primary" and "replica" shortly thereafter. After a short discussion, the Django core team unanimously accepted the change and merged it.

Six days later, Hacker News user "oellegaard" posts the initial pull request to Hacker News. The change which had heretofore passed with nary a peep suddenly attracts a 700+ comment flamewar on GitHub.

Note the participation in the github thread of the "Feminist Software Foundation" trolling group, possibly related to the Debian interactive fiction troll earlier in 2014.

Timeline of the dispute:

  • May 20th, 2014 16:30:41 UTC: Initial pull #2969 request was submitted
  • May 20th, 2014 16:30:59 UTC: Related ticket was opened
  • May 20th, 2014 16:37:04 UTC: Initial pull request was merged in
  • May 20th, 2014 16:45:48 UTC: Ticket was closed
  • May 20th, 2014 19:57:32 UTC: Amended Pull Request #2694 was submitted
  • May 22th, 2014 16:08:49 UTC: Amended Pull Request #2694 was merged in
  • May 26th, 2014 21:12:52 UTC: User "oellegaard" posts a link to the initial pull request #2969 on HackerNews ( The dispute starts.

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